Core Ethereum developer Preston Van Loon says the network’s long-awaited transition to Proof-of-Stake is likely to happen this August.
Ethereum’s long-awaited transition to the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism, which has been repeatedly delayed, is expected to happen sometime in August – let’s hope.
Preston Van Loon, the main developer of the Ethereum network, told the attendees of the Permissionless conference that the transition, known as The Merge, will happen sometime in August if everything goes according to plan.
Van Loon told 5,000 participants that the team intended to transition before the so-called “difficulty bomb” hit the network as planned:
“As far as we know, if everything goes according to plan, August just makes sense. If we don’t need to move the [difficulty bomb], we’ll do it as soon as possible.”
Echoing this sentiment, Ethereum researcher Justin Drake stated that ensuring the merger goes through quickly is a top priority, sharing his “strong desire to get it done before the August difficulty bomb.”
A “difficulty bomb” refers to a program coded on the Ethereum blockchain that deliberately slows down the network. It was designed to incentivize the transition to PoS by making it harder for miners to stay on the Proof-of-Work (PoW) chain after the merge.
On April 11, Ethereum developer Tim Beiko announced that the merger was again delayed. Despite successfully “testing the shadow fork,” Beiko said the merger would not go ahead in June as expected. According to Beiko, the developers must act quickly to avoid the difficulty bomb or they will have to release another update to delay the bomb:
“If the client developers don’t think they can roll out The Merge on the mainnet before the block time slows down too much, it should be delayed again.”
The schedule change follows news this week that a “huge testing milestone” will occur on the Ethereum network, with the Ropsten testnet merger set to take place on June 8th. When Ropsten testnet is merged, the PoW testnet is merged into a new testnet for the PoS consensus layer. It will mimic what will happen when the actual merger between Ethereum and Beacon Chain finally happens and it becomes a PoS network.
If the merger is successfully implemented in August, the latest milestone in the roadmap for Ethereum, formerly known as Eth2, will be a sharded chain upgrade scheduled to launch in early 2023. Until then, however, the network will continue to operate. Leverage layer 2 networks such as Polygon and Optimism for scalability and high transaction volumes.